Tam o Shanter: Happily Ever After?

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Our work experience student, Lachlan, has written a fantastic piece of creative writing, imagining the adventures of Tam o Shanter after his infamous night at Alloway Auld Kirk.  What does life have in store for Tam now? Read on to find out!

Tam is sitting drinking in the local pub like most nights. He has left his wife Kate at home to finish the housework and cook his dinner, little knowing she has different plans for the night…

“Hey Tam, did ya see that lassie? I think she likes you.” Tam did not reply but his look in return let his friend know that he wanted quiet. Still, Tam’s friend stood up and said to him “You want another drink?” Tam replied to him “Sure if you want, but make it a small one. I need to be able to ride home again.” As Tam waited for his drink to arrive he could hear everyone around him laughing and cursing at each other. Suddenly, a barmaid was standing in front of him: “Hi Tammy, how are ya?” Tam glanced at the maid and snapped at her, “I’m fine.” “THAT’S THE LAST DRINK I SERVE YOU TAM” the barmaid shouted, then she walked away.

Tam got up to leave but he heard his friend shouting across the bar, “Hey Tam, where ya goin’? You not having another drink?” He laughed and replied, “No, I need to get home to my wife. If I don’t, she will have ma guts for garters!”“Well then, I guess I’ll see you another day. Goodbye.” Tam said his goodbyes, walked out of the pub door and climbed onto his horse to ride home.

As Tam was riding home he was distracted by thinking about how rude he had been to the barmaid so he decided to turn back. As he turned he noticed something on the road.

It was a body.

It was not moving.

He got off his horse and started to walk over and investigate.

Tam looked down at the body in fear, wondering what had happened. He looked at the man’s face but did not recognise him.  Then suddenly he realised the man had been shot and in his hand there was a rag covered in blood. Tam took the rag out of the man’s hand looked at it closely. Oddly, he recognized the material but he could not think of where it came from so he put the rag back and decided to return home before he was seen.

When Tam arrived home he burst through the door and slammed it shut. “Kate, listen, you would not believe what has happened!” She looked at him and laughed, saying, “Don’t you go talking about witches and the devil again or I’ll be skelping you on the back of the head!” He looked at her seriously and replied, “No Kate, there is a body of a man on the brig. Don’t go out tonight stay.  It’s not safe!” Kate quickly looked at Tam and said, “I need to go and get something. I will be back soon.” Tam moved away from the door and asked her, “What are you getting?”, but she just walked on and opened the door. Tam repeated in anger, “Kate, What are you going to get?” She walked through the door and slammed it shut behind her. Tam sat down in his chair confused and thought to himself, “What have I done now?”

Kate was away for hours, with she has said no word of where she was going. Tam decided to look around the kitchen to find out why she was acting so strangely but he found nothing. As Tam started to walk through the house, he noticed something above the door. It was a box with no design around the outside. Tam opened the box and found a shocking discovery. It was a dress covered in blood with a hole torn in the side. Instantly, Tam dropped the box on the floor. The box hit the floor with enough force to break it. As he looked down at the broken box he noticed that rolled inside the bloody dress was a flintlock that had had its shot fired. Tam grabbed the flintlock and just as he walked into the kitchen, Kate walked through the door with someone that Tam recognized.

It was the barmaid!

Tam turned to Kate: “I know you killed that man on the brig! Why did you do it?” She started to cry. Tam stared at the barmaid and said “ Why are you here?” She looked back at him and laughed. Tam began to understand what had happened: “You both did this together.”

“I am sorry” Kate sobbed, “I had no choice. He was going to kick us out of our home because we can’t pay our tax” Tam fell into his chair and cried to her, “You can’t kill a man because of a reason like that!” The barmaid interrupted in an agitated way, “Don’t get all worked up, he was hassling me too so I shot him.” Tam slammed the flintlock on the table. “WORKED UP?” he yelled, “You killed a man!” The barmaid cackled and then quickly grabbed the flintlock off the table.  As she focused it on him, she sneered “Don’t try anything or I will kill you.”

Tam did not dare to move but said, “Two in one night? You trying to make a record?” She just laughed and said, “You were always charming Tammy, but it won’t get you anywhere now!” Kate was crying because she knew that Tam would have no chance of talking his way out of this one.   “So, what’s your name?” Tam asked the barmaid. “Pousie Nancy, my name is Nancy.” Tam was not sure if she would shoot him. After a pause, Nancy looked him sadly and said, “I am going to need to shoot you Tam”, pulling the trigger as she spoke.

The gun did not fire!

Just as Nancy started to examine the gun in anger, Tam realised that it had run out of bullets. She raced, enraged, towards him and went to hit him with the gun instead but in that moment a group of five guards burst through the door of the house. One of the guards grabbed her and said, “Nancy, we have been looking for you for a long time.” The Guard grabbed her arm and announced, “You’re off to Ayr prison and then you’ll be taken out to the gallows.” Pousie Nancy put up a fight as they took her away.       Kate stood up after the guards were gone. “Why didn’t you tell the guards I was involved?” Tam looked at her and said “Even though you took part in such a crime you are my wife and if you got taken away I don’t think I would be able to bear staying alone.” Kate wiped away the tears and said “I love you, Tam.” Tam looked down at her and said “I love you too” and they kissed

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